Olivia's Blog

Response to Forum E

The arguments these organizations are making are that surveillance in public space across the country is undermining our fundamental rights as citizens to freedom of speech, privacy, and confidentiality.  Even though the cameras are looking out for our safety and security, the New York Civil Liberties Union argues about what kinds of constraints we should place on the access to these videos and how certain exposure could be considered violation of privacy. Camera placement in New York City alone has almost tripled since 1998. However, crime rates in the big apple have drastically gone down due to these surveillance cameras and safety has increased immensely. After the first major installations of cameras in 1997, crime rate went down 36%. The NYCLU debates however that no researcher has produced conclusive evidence that cameras deter crime. Surveillance in public space personally makes me feel more comfortable and safe as a woman. Women are predisposition to be physically weaker than men, making them easy targets for mugging, rape, assault, and murder. Surveillance cameras help protect women and children from these terrible crimes. A watchful eye is better than no eye at all. These cameras also protect retailers from losing profit because they catch thieves in the act. Working in retail for most of my high school and college life, it is nice to have a set of eyes watching out for you in places where you might not be able to see.  Cameras in my experience have helped stop many thieves in the store that I work at. In these kinds of situations, I feel it is extremely necessary to have cameras watching over us. By taking them away because of “privacy violations” were putting our families, our peers, and ourselves in danger.  A research topic that I draw from these controversies is “Where do we draw the line between safety and privacy with surveillance cameras in our society?” This poses many questions for me as to what is considered violation and what is considered precautionary.


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